• Nearly 50% of the country is currently facing drought with at least 16% falling in the “exceptional” or “extreme” category, according to IIT Gandhinagar scientists managing India’s real time drought prediction system.
  • This ongoing drought will pose a lot of challenges in water availability this summer
  • About 47% of the country is facing drought — with 16% facing extreme, or exceptional category of drought — which we show from our real time monitoring system that we have developed for the country.
  • Arunachal Pradesh did not get good rain this year, and parts of Jharkhand, southern Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, and northern part of Tamil Nadu are under drought.
  • If these areas experience very hot summer before the onset of monsoon, it could lead to a crisis.
  • Continuing drought will further burden the already depleting groundwater resources of the country.
  • If our groundwater is not recharged and managed sustainably, we could face a very difficult situation in the coming years.
  • You can reduce groundwater by selecting appropriate crops.
  • If we already have depleted groundwater we should not grow water-intensive crops.
  • For example, Punjab should not be growing rice.
  • The government needs to take some tough decisions as far as groundwater, and water conservation is concerned.
  • Conserving water in urban homes is just a drop in the bucket compared to steps that can be taken in the agriculture sector.
  • Of course, conservation should be encouraged at every level, but the elephant in the room is agriculture.
  • 80% of our total fresh water is used in agriculture sites, rather than residential sites.